Problem. By my reading, much of the story doesn't really seem like such big news. I'm not saying it's nothing, but there are aspects of it that simply aren't news at all--not to anyone with a little background on Soviet and, now, Russian intelligence ops. Like, just to take one example, the fact that the Russians use their diplomatic infrastructure in the US for intel purposes (a thing we would never do ourselves). Please. So, the fact that non-news is being presented as actual news leads to the obvious question: What's up with this story appearing now?
An easy explanation would be that this is the Deep State preparing a defense for the Russia Hoax coup plotters. The defense narrative would go something like this, as reflected in the first two paragraphs of the Yahoo story:
On Dec. 29, 2016, the Obama administration announced that it was giving nearly three dozen Russian diplomats just 72 hours to leave the United States and was seizing two rural East Coast estates owned by the Russian government. ...
The Obama administration’s public rationale for the expulsions and closures — the harshest U.S. diplomatic reprisals taken against Russia in several decades — was to retaliate for Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But there was another critical, and secret, reason why those locations and diplomats were targeted.
Both compounds, and at least some of the expelled diplomats, played key roles in a brazen Russian counterintelligence operation that stretched from the Bay Area to the heart of the nation’s capital, according to former U.S. officials. ... It even raised concerns among some U.S. officials about a Russian mole within the U.S. intelligence community.
“It was a very broad effort to try and penetrate our most sensitive operations,” said a former senior CIA official.
These compromises, the full gravity of which became clear to U.S. officials in 2012 ...
Thus, the Obama administration--and by extension, of course, his Intel Community--had all been on this job for years--since 2012. They "realized the full gravity" of the situation. They were even concerned that there might be a "mole." And if that mole wasn't actually within the government, thenl, who knows? maybe the mole was in the political campaign of the presidential candidate of the opposing party? Maybe the mole was the presidential candidate of the opposing party! Maybe Chris Steele is on to something big!
See? That's what was behind the Russia Hoax! Sure we may have gone a bit too far with our suspicions. Flynn, Page, Papadopoulos, Manafort. We played a bit rough, but we really thought they were in bed with the Russians--and we loved our fellow Americans so much (well, except for those stinky Trump voters in southern Virginia Walmarts, and those annoying pro-life marchers). And maybe we should have been a bit more forthcoming with the FISA court, and been less trusting of our pal Christopher. But it was all done out of pure patriotism, the best of motives. For four long years we were worried sick about the Russian threat--right here in our own US cities. You wouldn't send us to jail for that, would you?
Speaking for myself, Yes, I would. Because I don't believe you for a moment.
UPDATE: A friend put it to me the way I wish I'd said it originally:
FBI counterintelligence knows by 2012 that the Russians are up to something big and have penetrated FBI comms, in fact it’s so big that by 2016 the counterintelligence guy in charge of Russia is texting with his FBI girlfriend on their FBI phones about a HUGE Russian operation involving a US presidential candidate!
But that's OK! Being stupid is part of the defense. It's about staying out of jail.